Julie Kagti of ‘Curtain Call Adventures’, has come a long way since starting her business in 2016. Her venture focuses on creating localised travel experiences for people in the Northeast region. She promotes a more wholesome way of travelling by including local art, culture, and guides in your travel experience.
She spent two decades in various roles of a designer, teacher, entrepreneur, and social worker, gracing her way in Lakme Fashion Week and Fabindia stores. Her childhood spent in Assam inspired her to start the venture and also bring the honest yet unseen side of Northeast to the world. Today we chat with her to know the exciting story behind Curtain Call Adventures and more.
Hey Julie! Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, I’m Julie, the owner of Curtain Call Adventures. I grew up in Assam, which exposed me to both the anglicised tea life and local culture of weaving. My exposure to the world of design in Bombay inspired me to pursue an education in textile design, after which I spent two decades in the textile industry as a designer, teacher, entrepreneur, and worked for social development. In 2016, when I decided to spend more time with my children, I reconnected with them by travelling to the northeast of India. After spending time camping, taking long boat rides, researching and revisiting different places, I was inspired to create my very own travel venture – Curtain Call Adventures in 2017.
What inspires you to keep travelling?
My inspiration came from my childhood, especially when my parents used to take us camping to sanctuaries, visit wildlife, or exciting long road trips. By then, I had already got bitten by the travel bug, which further inspired me to read up on books by Freya Stark and other travel writers. It soon had me thinking about my own travels in a different light, especially where I could admire and explore the various lifestyles of the indigenous tribes that live in northeast India.
It is books by Freya Stark and other travel writers that got me thinking and looking at my own travels in a different light. I want to spend time admiring and exploring the various lifestyles of the indigenous tribes that live in the northeast of India, following the same customs and traditions that generations have followed.
How do you decide or plan your upcoming trips?
I focus on the experience offered. I personally would scout villages to find the best local guides and artisans, for craft activities and performances. I would also go over routes with guides and locals for the best sites, events and more. Local experts, food partners and naturalists also helped make these trips more than just your regular packaged holiday.
- How do you afford to travel?
I normally generate the funds for travel from selling tours or customised trips. Sometimes I even earn income from adult weaving workshops that I sporadically conduct.
- What are the five travel essentials you will always carry in your bag?
Sunscreen – currently using the Biotique Sandalwood one
Sunglasses – I normally carry two, in case I misplace one
My phone charger.
My reusable water bottle which we provide to all our guests too and can take back with them as a souvenir.
My sketch pad and pens.
- Which destinations are your favourite and why?
In the north east I like:
Ziro: My adventures through the paddy fields here inspired me to start my travel ventures. It also offered a great insight into the traditional ways of the local tribes and their generous nature of assisting and teaching outsiders of their customs.
Manipur : Its food, markets, weaving, warm-hearted friendly locals and the wonderful way in which they conduct their ceremonies makes it another one of my choices.
Ladakh: Another favourite place due its people and culture. Not to mention the pashmina wool, the local lives of the nomads, gorgeous landscape, the monasteries and its rich Buddhist traditions and oracles.
In international destinations:
Tuscany: For its wine and food markets. Also the way they have planned their towns and restore their old building, thus preserving their heritage.
Bali: For its culture, crafts, workshops, architecture and service. Even small homestays and restaurants are kept clean with a lot of greenery around. Their service is also gracious, making it a learning lessons for those in the same industry.
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